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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 29, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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i guess that's -- that's the question. >> no, i'll say this. i agree with what the two gentlemen just said now. anyone describing to you, chris, a ferguson effect, anyone in law enforcement talking about a ferguson effect is really indicting the system because what they're saying is if you pay attention to us and you expect to hold us accountable when we do our work, we can't do our job. >> right. they're indicting a sort of constitutional system of protections, as well. thank you gentlemen. that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow starts this evening with melissa harris. >> thanks for being a talk show host and not a police officer. i watched that segment. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. rachel has the night off. but we have important news tonight about the shocking story of national importance that rachel has been covering closely. the story of flint, michigan and how its drinking water end up contaminated with toxic amounts of lead. and the lead is not just in the water of flint, michigan.
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it is in the babies and the school children of flint. lead is devastating to the human body and children builds up swiftly in kidneys and bones and livers and brains and the effects irreversible. in just a matter of months, the children and babies of flint, michigan became two to three times more likely to show elevated levels of lead in their bodies coming after the state of michigan allowed flint to change the source of its drinking water without taking precautions. this is the story of an epa whistleblower who reported on high levels of lead in flint only to have the government of flint, michigan brand him a rogue employee, the story of a local doctor who proved that flint kids were getting sick from drinking the lead in their new water only to have the government of in issue gan tell reporters she had spliced and diced the numbers and that she was wrong. it's the story of the mcarthur genius award writtening drinking water expert from virginia tech who dropped everything this
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summer and drove 15 hours trait 120 flint, michigan so that he could test the water himself and who found high lead levels in flint's new water only to have the state dismiss him as beak a traveling cradle sister. it's the story of the new mayor of flint who took the drastic step this month of declaring a state of emergency in her city saying the town and the kids need help, need it urgently and if they going to recover from what's been done to them. and it is most definitely the story off michigan governor rick snyder who was the boss of the state appointed emergency managers in flint and who was the boss of the state environmental agency that bunked and botch the its way to a full-blown national crisis. the same agency that told the public there's no broad problem with the water in flint. and that everyone should just relax. the science of what went so wrong in flint is actually easy enough to understand. flint had been getting its water pumped from detroit. it's about an hour's drive away.
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to save money, flint's state appointed emergency manager decided to stop buying great lakes water from detroit and instead start sourcing the drinking water from the local flint river. then in april 2014, they made the switch. lots of places get their drinking water from rivers. it's not inherently more dangerous but river water does tend to be saltier than lake water. thus, it tends to be more core rose sib. you're supposed to treat the river water so it doesn't corrode the pipes because if it corrodes the pipes then it will cause them to leach out the lead that's holding them together. people who end up drinking the lead, it will make them sick. in the case of children in particular, it can permanently lower their iqs, contribute to emotional and behavioral problems that follow them the rest of their lives. but don't worry, you can avoid all ha if you just treat the river water properly to prevent corrosion. that is what the state of in issue gan didn't do. the governor's administration
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let flint make the switch without the safeguards. then the snyder administration ignored the early warning signs and let the moms and dads and babies an of flint keep on drink hag water for months. even with michigan newspapers and michigan public radio and the aclu all spilling this news nonstop, it's not been clear how far governor snyder is willing to go to clean up from this mess his administration has made. it was enough that rachel on this show addressed governor snyder directly. watch this. >> governor, the water of flint, michigan has been poisoned. and this -- let me say here for a second, i think the resistance to this being seen as a national story is because people think of lead as being a long-term infrastructure problem. things went bad in that old city that needs work. if you want to make an analogy to personal health, this is not like something coming due after you've had bad diet and no exercise for 20 years.
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this is the personal health equivalent of having been shot. this is not something that went bad over a long period of time. this is they flipped a switch to turn off one spigot last april and turn on a different spit got and the one they turned on poisoned the kids. the kids of flint mish have been poisoned by a policy decision. all at once. the town has been poisoned. under your watch, governor. through the actions and inactions of people who report to you and the people who you appointed. the emergency manager who signed that international order to get ready for drinking from the river he reported directly to the governor and to no one else. the emergency manager that so would the pipeline reported directly to governor snyder. the agency that did not tell flint how to do this safely and ignored the fast rising lead levels in the water and disparages first the whistleblower and then the profess her and then the local doctor who all tried to represent, that agency reported to and continues to report only
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to rick snyder, the governor of michigan. >> clear enough? the science of how flint, michigan came to have its water in its kids poisoned is clear. the state failed to take the reprecautions it should have taken 37 but the politics of how much help flint gets and who gets held accountable for what happened, that part is not so obvious. over the past few days, governor snyder has addressed the flint water crisis directly. last week he told a local tv station his greatest challenge this year was "flint with their water situation." this morning we saw the headline with governor snyder listing the flint water crisis as his biggest disappointment of 2015 and then late today, the story took a turn. late today, a bipartisan tack force commissioned by governor snyder made a preliminary report in a letter that task force, told the governor that the state's own environmental agency bears the primary responsibility for what went wrong.
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the task force members say they have more work left to do but they told the governor in boldfaced type that responsibility and accountability cannot wait. and late today, governor snyder cited that letter as he announced the resignation of the director of the environmental agency that failed to protect flint's water. then the spokesperson for that agency, the one who told the public to relax about flint's water, he also resigned. and it seems it's not over yet. the governor says there will be more news yet to come. in a statement posted this afternoon, he says "changes in leader had and staff are not enough." he's directing state agencies to work with the outside scientist who have tried to help flint, the same scene at this times the state disparaged just weeks ago. the governor had been telling us he sent the michigan state police to meet with flint about an emergency response. now he says he has called flint's new mayor and plans to meet with her so they can talk about the ways the state can
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offer more assistance and the governor himself apologized. "i want the flint community to know how very sorry i am that this happened." so that's big news. on this outrage of a story from michigan. resignations, promises of change an apology from the governor, big, big news. but meanwhile, the children of flint, michigan are poisoned because of choices made by city officials who were not elected by the people of flint but instead were installed by governor snyder. so we know he's sorry. we know who's resigned. what we don't know is what the governor is willing to do to fix this problem that his administration caused. does flint get the help it needs to make sure the pipes carrying its water are not leeching any more lead into sippy cups and baby bottles and drinking glasses? will governor snyder be held
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personally accountable? will there be a federal response? will the families and children of flint be okay? joining us now is congressman dan killed deof flint, michigan. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> do you see these resignations and this an pol from the governor as some sort of turning point? >> it's certainly acknowledgement of responsibility which is a step in the right direction but whether people resign, are fired, or apologize, that all may be appropriate but what is necessary is that the governor take action now to make sure that the effect that this lead has had on these children can be mitigated. there are things that can done to overcome to offset, perhaps not to overcome but to offset the effect of lead. and the governor needs to step up and make it right by getting these kids the nutritional support that will minimize the effect of lead or at least mitigate the effect of lead on their future.
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the kind of educational support early childhood education, for example, can in part offset the developmental challenges that come with lead exposure. there are lots of other things that he can do. but it has to be more than just holding people accountable by having them resign. or making an apology. these are people. this is my hometown. these are people whose futures can have been negatively affected by this terrible mistake made by the state government and they need to do, are the state need to do everything that they possibly can do to make it right for the people of flint. they can't fix it completely. they can't undo it. but they can do what they can do. and it has to be much more than just an apology and much more than people losing their jobs. >> so talk to me a little bit about these families about your hometown. you know, obviously the month of december we've been in holiday season. people are home cooking. you think how many times you turn on the tap to do everything from wash the dishes to prepare the meals. and i just kept condering if
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you're meeting families and if they're talking to you as their representative about what they're facing in this moment. >> i go home every weekend and hear about it all the time from people. they're worried about their kids. they're worried about whether this lead exposure will be yet another hurdle that these kids in flint, michigan have to overcome to make their way in life. the city has already had a lot of struggles. we've lost 90% of our manufacturing jobs. half of the population. it's a very poor city. so in many ways, these kids have had the bad luck of being born in the wrong zip code and now through an act of the state government have yet another hurd to overcome. >> i want to ask you about that zip code thing for a second. just to point out it's both about these individual families but also obviously zip codes are also about housing and property values. so everything that you've talked
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about here in terms of the chags that flint as a city was already facing, now with this, i mean, so if i am a family and want to get out, what's the possibility of being able to sell my house right now? >> property values have fallen. we had the housing crisis across the country. the housing prices in flint had completely collapsed before that and went even further as a result of the housing crisis. so this is why this crisis while it clearly affects the health of these kids and the governor should step up and do something about that, it also hurts the already really damaged reputation of this community. i mean, how can we rebuild ourselves if we are known as a city that can't even deliver safe drinking water to its children? so while i think the state needs to act to offset the problem that be it caused, it also needs to look at the secondary effect of all this. we need help regrowing our economy. and the state now has an even greater moral responsibility,
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not just to deal with the health, not just to deal with the infrastructure, both are really critical but to help us rebuild our city by making sure we have all the help possible to overcome yet another big problem that the state government really put on the city of flint which already has been strugglinging. > congressman dan kill deof flint, michigan, we appreciate your time tonight. i know the that rachel is going to stay on the story. expect more calls from this show. >> thank you very much. >> coming up donald trump on a plane. no, really. donald trump kind of made some news today on a plane today in omaha, nebraska. more on that. stay with us. nus pressure, you need fast relief. alka-seltzer plus severe sinus congestion and cough liquid gels rush relief to your tough symptoms. to put you back in control. [doorbell] woman: coming! alka-seltzer plus sinus. (politely) wait, wait, wait! yyou have to rinse it first.t, what's that, alfredo? no,that can go in. no it can't!
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now...if you'll excuse me, i'm late for an important function. saving humanity from high insurance rates. breaking news we're getting in at this hour about a magnitude 4.3 earthquake that just truck in california. the earthquake had an epicenter just east of los angeles. and it was reportedly felt across the region. there are no reports of
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fatalities or injuries. but according to "the l.a. times," there have been four earthquakes in the area of magnitude 3.0 or greater just in the last tep days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. t days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. e days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops. n days. we're going to keep an eye on the situation there and bring you more as it develops.
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last night one of the presidential hopefuls had one of those humbling moments that can only happen on the campaign trail. democratic candidate martin o'malley held an event in iowa and only one person showed up. his name was kenneth. martin o'malley, former mayor of baltimore and governor of maryland spent an entire hour chatting with kenneth about the issues. at the end, kenneth was still
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not ready 0 commit. iowa voters take their responsibilities seriously. listen, there was a big snowstorm in iowa yesterday. many presidential candidates just canceled their events. martin o'malley soldiers through all of his planned stops despite the weather. it's not like him is rick santorum who attracted just one supporter at an iowa event in june when it was not snowing. governor o'malley was joined by five people at another event and 12 earlier. if you can get almost 20 people to brave snow and icy roads to see you, that might be a win in iowa. the iowa caucuses with just 34 days away. they're a several hour process held on a weeknight in the dead of winter. supporters can be a bigger asset there than high poll numbers which is not to say that anyone specs martin o'malley to win iowa, but on the republican side of the presidential campaign, this has become a sprawl question. do the candidates who are doing
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best in the polls have the infrastructure on the ground to actually pull off wins in the early contests? donald trump was asked about this earlier this evening at a press conference that he held on board his plane before an iowa rally. >> well, as you know, and even if you look tonight despite the bad weather, the place is packed. they just had it on television. we get by far the biggest crowds. will they show up for caucus? i think the answer is yes. as you know, we have sam clovis and chuck and they have incredible people under them. but you know, we're going to see what happens on february 1st. i really think all of those people and maybe even friends of theirs that weren't at the rallies or the speeches i think they're going to come out and caucus and we're going to have a very good victory. you know, we're going to have to see. >> there have been mixed reports about donald trump's ground game in iowa and new hampshire. the "new york times" noted last week his campaign appears to have no pollsters, no
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advertising team or research or voter contact operations. though we just found out mr. trump did get access to the rnc's enormous voter lists which gives his campaign data on more than 200 million people. if donald trump doesn't have a good ground game and if the old rules of presidential campaigning still apply apply, it's possible he could suffer a sudden collapse once people actually start voting. this has been an election seen in which all the old rules have seemed to go out the window. jeb bush spent more than $38 million on ads to languish in the single digits. donald trump has dominated the polls for months and not run a single tv ad. but that may be about to change. >> i'll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week and perhaps substantially more than that. >> jeb has spent $40 million. >> he hasn't spent $40 million. he's wasted $40 million. there's a big difference. jeb has wasted $40 million.
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>> so i'm going to be doing big ads in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. and they're going to be very substantial and i this i they're very well done. i've seen the first two or three of them. we're very broud of them. i don't think i need to spend anything and i'm very ploud of the fact that i've spent the least and have the best result. in other words, i spent here. a guy like bush spent $59 million and he's nowhere. and others likewise have spent millions of dollars and they're nowhere. if anybody goes after me, i will spend a lot of money against the people that go after me. >> donald trump has said before that he was going to start running ads. the ads never appeared. but if we are going to get 2 million a week income trump tv ads, we are entering a new phase of this election season. joining us is political correspondent kasie hunt. so nice to have you with us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> so donald trump is not wrong that he has managed perhaps the
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best free media presidential campaign in modern history. but what would -- what would the ads look like from him? >> that's still an open question at this point. the main question is he going to run biographical spots? we would divide it up into am i selling myself or trying to contrast with other candidates. attack ads have the potential to be brutal. we've seen just donald trump's free media attacks be pretty effective already. so i think an actual paid tv spot could potentially be deadly. >> a lot is being made of this idea of a ground game. we started with the kind of iowa snow. i'm reminded iowa unlike new hampshire, it's in part about turnout but also about what happens in those school gymnasiums in those spaces. trump's supporters are the kind of people who strike me as good cau caucusers. >> republican caucuses are a
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little bit different . the democrats have a little bit of a different process. >> as in pep rally. >> that's exactly what the trump campaign is trying to do. i was out in cedar rapids with the trump campaign a couple weeks ago. they have their volunteers going into the gymnasiums and the release strength is the rallies. the scale is in some ways unprecedented. they have thousands of people available to them. the problem is many of them are new to this process. it can be an intimidating process. you have to get out of your house on a probably cold maybe snowiy blizzards february night, go to the school gym and sit therein elisen to all this stuff. they're going row by row with volunteers saying this is what it means to be a caucus captain. this is what it means to show up to caucus at all. one woman said the last person she voted for in a caucus was jimmy carter. that's the scale of over the that the trump campaign is looking at. these other republican campaigns know that he's going to bring
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new voters into this process. they're making that assumption. question is, how many. they don't know. it could be in the thousands, it could be overwhelming. it could be many, many fewer. that's the trump campaign's hurdle here. >> this is a fascinating idea to me that the draw you have new voters would be coming in here on the republican side. i mean, we heard from mr. trump this week a critique of president clinton of bill clinton. but typically when we think about somebody who attracts new voters, it has happened in general elections around democrats. is this kind of conservative populism something new for the republican party? >> it's a combination of that populace you talk about and part celebrity. you run into people at these rallies and say he said hey you want to see donald trump? >> somebody at the rally said they were a rubio supporter. >> in iowa, you can find people like that. no, it happens. i'm not sure that this is the
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same -- some people impaired this to barack obama in 2008 in iowa because people talk how he brought so many new people in. some of the our sources say in some ways ted cruz's campaign might be more like obama's because what his campaign is trying to do is really activate conservative base voters who have maybe fallen out of the process. that's something the obama campaign did veryectively in 2008. a lot of people showing up for trump haven't been engaged in politics before whether it's people watching these debates there at sky high numbers, anecdotally, you go out to lunch and people at the table two tables over are talking about donald trump. that just didn't happen in 2012. >> and again, that's part of why he's accurate in that assessment he has not had to spend money and yet has ta level of discourse around his campaign.
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kasie, thanks. >> much more ahead tonight including what i guarantee you is the greatest piece of archive tape that you have seen in a very long time. stay with us. [ coughing ] [ sneezing ] a cold can make you miserable. luckily, alka seltzer plus cold and cough liquid gels. rush liquid fast relief to your tough cold symptoms. fast, powerful liquid gels from alka seltzer plus you owned your car you named it brad.s, you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ (vo) some call it giving back.
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but generally, there is a sense of kind of orderliness during these kinds of events. but sometimes when they're on the road, it's a different story all together. watch this because it's kind of amazing. >> more than 50 cars were in the motorcade that brought president cart near downtown belgrade. a flatbed truck carrying press pool 20, american reporters and photographers was in front. in fact, too far in front. at times cameramen couldn't seen see the president's car much less take a pictures of it. >> pull that down. pull it down now. you pull this truck down. >> despite the urging of white house aide rick moore, the driver continued to roar along at top speed preferring to heed the advice of a security agent in the cab of the truck who didn't like the idea of photographers getting close to the heads of state. then there was another problem. >> we don't go to the polls. we go to the tombs.
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>> the truck was supposed to go directly to tito's tomb rather than to the presidential palace where the driver was heading. >> down, everybody down. no, no, no. >> again, a breakdown in communication. >> no, no, no, we don't, no, no. we go to the tomb. >> press pool 20 finally made it to its destination. or almost. john palmer, nbc news, somewhere near the presidential party in belgrade. >> well, another white house reporter has just given nbc's john palmer a run for his money. that's ahead. [ cough ] no matter what nasty cold symptoms you get,
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cleveland police outside of the city rec center. the grand jury's decision not to indict the officers involved in the shooting prompted outrage and protests and gut-wrenching memorials. it's also highlighted what feels like this sense of helplessness among those desperate for accountability. yesterday, activists turned to cleveland cavaliers all-star lebron james for help using the #no justice no, lebron they're asking james to put his season on hold to lead a collective sitout till the department of justice "imprisons the police officers involved in the tamir rice shooting." >> tamir's death along withing that of laquan mcdonald are just two of the police involved shootings that have risen to national prominence this year. but they just two stories among hundreds. according to data compiled by "the washington post," close to 1,000 people were shot and killed by police officers in 2015, at least 82 of those people have been killed in the last 0 days. if you look over the data, over
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the last decade, it's even more staggering. thousands have been fatally shot by on duty officers. but as "the washington post" also points out, few of those law enforcement officials ever end up prosecuted. as of this past april, only 54 officers were charged in the last decade. "washington post" also found that in the cases that have already been decided, the majority of officer were not convicted. in fact, even when they were convicted or pled guilty, they tended to get little time behind bars on average, four years and sometimes only weeks. why? to help me answer that, my next guest. kim bri yell kelly is an investigative reporter for "the washington post." miss kelly, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. >> so talk to me a little bit about this "washington post" series and the data that you all have collected. what led to this decision to chronicle these shootings? >> what started this was
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essentially last year with the death of michael brown. essentially we decided to look at that case because people were saying that because of a white officer was kill agafrican-american, you know, was this a pattern. so decided to take a look at all the shootings. what that case also did was bring to the forefront a lot of the who else that were in the data keeping in terms of fatal police shootings which are kept by the federal bureau of investigations. and so we undertook a year long investigation where we essentially counted every single fatal police shooting and ended up finding out there were nearly a thousand this year which was nearly twice as many as the fbi reported. >> for me this is such a critical idea that simply data collection constitutes almost an activism or at least of kind of journalism that we often don't have an opportunity to see where you go and actually find the
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answers to these central questions. how different is the world if we think there are a thousand people shot and killed by police than 500? >> i think it's a lot different. what you have is, now the fbi taking a look at our numbers and saying you know what? we need to look at how we aggregate our data and so for 2017, they're saying we're going to look at not only the number of fatal shootings, we're going to look at more granular data. that data should be able to tell us what the breadth and scope of not only police shootings are across the country but the use of force. and that's something we don't know right now. >> so the other piece, i think that is so critical in the reporting and writing that you've done has to do with when there is a shooting and when there is an indictment in and a trial how infrequently police officers are in fact held accountable in the sense of actually getting time. what is that about -- what is happening in that moment? >> well, it's kind of
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interesting because you sometimes you know, you see a sigh of relief from communities protesting when there isn't an indictment. when there is an indictment, people are excited because they say justice is going to be served but what we found during our first investigation erl think year was that even though there was a prosecution in most cases, the cases ended up in an acquittal. the charges were dropped or the cases were all-out dismissed. like you mentioned with our numbers, even with a prosecution, even if the grand jury came back and said we are going to try this case, we have found that when those cases go to i jury, when those cases are decided by a judge, that the resolution is still the same. acquittal, dismissal or charges being dropped. >> so those numbers, that data, that reality, i want us to hold that in our mind and listen for a moment to the father of the 19-year-old shot by chicago police over the weekend. >> my son was laying there, and he was still alive and moving.
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and no one, no one at all assisted him at any time while he was there. and at which point i looked back and saw miss jones laying therein an once again, yelled, screamed as loud as i can. someone get an ambulance. someone get someone to help my son! >> given what you know, what do you think is likely to happen? >> given what we know and like i say, we've spent the last year at "the washington post" looking at what happens when these cases are prosecuted, the department of justice has decided they're going to come into chicago and investigate. what we found is these investigations generally take about a year to a year and a half, 18 months. we're talking about you know, looking at findings about what may or may not be happening in chicago potentially in 2017. and that's when the findings could get released in terms of what the patterns if there are patterns or practices of
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constitutional violations there. after that, you know, the hard part starts. usually there are four, five, sometimes ten-year agreements with the department of justice to try to turn that department around. and those agreements usually start with policy changes with new training and with recordkeeping because in many of these cases you find that departments just aren't keeping track of these use of force or excessive uses of force. what you are going to see in the future, it's going to be a long road and take awhile before you might actually see some change within these departments. >> kimbiell kelly. a reminder for me today of the value of empirical evidence. thank you for your time tonight. okay, there's much more to come tonight including a very much needed best new thing in the world. we'll be right back. mom. the twins. aunt alice... you didn't tell me aunt alice was coming. of course. don't forget grandpa. can the test drive be over now? maybe just head back to the dealership?
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it works differently. when added to another alzheimer's treatment, it may improve overall function and cognition. and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. vo: namenda xr doesn't change how the disease progresses. it shouldn't be taken by anyone allergic to memantine, or who's had a bad reaction to namenda xr or its ingredients. before starting treatment, tell their doctor if they have, or ever had, a seizure disorder, difficulty passing urine, liver, kidney or bladder problems, and about medications they're taking. certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of namenda xr in the body and may increase side effects. the most common side effects are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. he's always been my everything. now i am giving back. ask their doctor about once-daily namenda xr and learn about a free trial offer at good news for the folks in our graphics department. that long list of republican candidates running for president
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has just gotten a little bit shorter. you'll recall back in september, rick perry was the first one to drop out of the race followed by scott walker bobby jindal and lindsey graham. now the latest candidate to drop out george pataki. blink, you would have missed him. tonight in an ad that aired in iowa, south carolina and new hampshire, he announced he is suspending his campaign. he was one of the more experienced candidates in the republican field at least in terms of republican leadership, a former mayor and state legislature and a three-term governor for the state of new york. unfortunately for him, his experience did not translate into the electability. not only that, but his dropping out signals a recurring theme on the republican side of the race. with george pataki now out, this means that of the top six most politically experienced republican candidates, five are poof, gone. out before anyone has even cast a single vote. isn't politics something?
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roughly 58,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness in america today. a number that fortunately, has fallen sharply in the past few years, but whatever the number, these brave men and women have served this country with courage and grace. too.of them have come home only to fight a new battle, a battle to keep a roof over their head. >> okay. how about a good news story to
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round out the year. the slip that you just saw was first lady michelle obama in june of last year announcing a brand flu white house initiative to fight homelessness among veterans. michelle obama our first lady and vice president biden's wife dr. jill biden have teamed up over the years for a variety of issues to help veterans. this is an ambitious plan to say no american veteran should be left homeless in any american city. it was called the mayor's challenge to end veteran homelessness and it was a call to action to mayors and county leaders and governors across the country to commit to ending veteran homelessness by the end of this year. more than 800 city and county officials signed onto the challenge and it's gotten some real results. last month, the state of virginia became the first state in the nation to effectively end veteran homelessness. they provided housing for every homeless veteran in the state who wanted it. cities like mobile, alabama have done the same thing and new orleans, houston and las vegas
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and now one more american city can be added to the list. the city of brotherly love, philadelphia. they have effectively ended veteran homelessness in that city. the number of homeless veterans sky rocked between '09 and 2013 and the problem is particularly acute in the state's largest city of philadelphia but now according to state officials about 1400 former mhomeless veterans have been placed. for now, every veteran who wants a home has one. a coalition of agencies called philly vets home helped carry out the process which determined eligibility through the va and a permanent housing plan for them using financial resources provided by the federal government. mayor nutter was among the 800 city and county officials who accepted president obama and first lady michelle obama's
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challenge to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year. and well, he did it. he made the announcement earlier this month standing alongside julian castro, president obama's secretary of housing and urban development. this achievement comes at the tail end of mayor nutter's time in office. he's wrapping up his second and final term. joining us now is is michael nutter, the mayor of philadelphia. thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, melissa. thank you very, very much. and this work is some of the most important work that i will have ever done in my 20 plus years in public office. we're very, very proud that philadelphia joins the ranks of the many cities that you mentioned earlier. it was great to have secretary castro in philadelphia and a couple days before that, i actually saw president obama and first lady michelle obama at the white house at the christmas party with my mom and first lady could not have been more excited. she already knew the news.
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and was really, really happy about it. but we're excited here in philadelphia. >> so we were talking last night on the show about the idea of moon shots, of setting a settin designated deliverable goal and going for it. and here you've actually achieved it, right? you're walking around on the moon of ending veteran homelessness in philadelphia. how important is that way of doing business for our big social problems? >> well, it's critical. first of all, you have to set goals and they should be am birs, not unrealistic, but they should be ambitious. you know, with a stretch to try to achieve them. and when the first lady, michelle obama and the second lady, dr. jill biden made this announcement, i immediately said we have to be a part of this effort. first and foremost, as i heard the clip, the first lady said these men and women have served our nation, served it well, they allow us to do the things that we do and sometimes even take for granted because of their service. and now face a challenge when they get back home that in many
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instances they can't even have a roof over their head. our public housing authority have teamed up and as you said, the philly vets home coalition got to work. and i was very, very clear with them. we're part of this challenge, we're going to meet this challenge. we're going to do this by the end of the year, but they deserve the credit for making this happen. and i could not be more proud. >> so you have only a few days left as mayor in the city of philadelphia. >> yeah. >> but you're -- >> unfortunately, yeah. >> but you're not even 60 years old. you have lots of moon shots left in you. what is next? >> well, you know, we have achieved a number of things in philadelphia. you know, philly is a big city. fifth largest city in the united states of america. i was appointed to the advisory committee. i'm going to continue. i work there.
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mayor mitchell andrew and i created cities united. anthony smith is director there. focused on stopping violence in the african-american community, men and boys. and so that is the kind of work that i want to continue right here in philadelphia. but also raise many of these issues to a national level. philadelphia is currently the largest city in thamerica with african-american mayor. the charter says i have to go, so i have to work on. but the work continues. whether in elected office or not, this is my passion, this is my commitment, dhs my focus. so making sure that president obama's work, my brother's keeper continues here in philadelphia. very, very important to me. and the groups that are working on this effort to uplift our men and boys of color in philadelphia, but cities all across the united states of america. and so i'll take a little bit of a break. the inauguration is next monday.
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handoff the baton to the mayor elect. and then i'll take a little bit of a break and come right back out with important work that i care passionately about and how i'm going to spend my time continuing to move forward. the president's agenda, continuing to make sure that the democratic national convention, which is in philadelphia next summer, i worked on that with our team, make sure that's successful. and then i'll be involved in presidential politics as well. so there will be more than enough for me to do. but my focus, my passion is about this city and cities across the country, working with, again, former mayors like, you know, doug palmer and shirley franklin and wellington webb and so many others. so there's work to be done. and i'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish, but there's still more to take place in philadelphia in cities all across the united states of america. >> mayor nutter, i appreciate that you took your mom to the white house christmas party. i also appreciate -- >> she was pretty excited.
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>> i also appreciate that you point out that it's dr. biden and first lady obama who set this up. i'm excited about your work with men and boys of color, but just don't forget the lady, sir. girls as well. >> actually at our mbk summit just last week, i announced in that summit working with the white house with we're going to actually incorporate much of the work of the women and girls council from the white house in our work here in philadelphia. it reelsly about name faem and bringing all of these folks together. so we're paying attention to the women and girls as well. >> thoorts. not the boys less, just the girls more. michael nutter, the mayor of philadelphia, best of luck in your remaining days in office. and up next, we have the best new thing in the world. stay tuned. huh.
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>> i'm going to borrow a favorite thing of rachel's because today we have a best new thing in the world. are you ready? here we go. when president obama or any president speaks, for that matter, the video you see is called the pool cam. so instead of every website setting up a camera, they call it the pool camera. it's efficient solution for providing access for many organizations. similarly, the press corps also has a pool report. so instead of every single outlet having a reporter follow the president's every move, there's a rotating group of reporters who take turns writing the pool report. that report is then distributed to all of the news outlets to be used in their coverage. here's an example of a report from the day of president obama's leaving for family vacation. marine one was wheeled up for joint base andrew at 5:24 p.m. potus walked across the south lawn. with sasha obama and the first lady walking a few yards behind
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with malia. not riveting, but that's the kind of stuff you get from pool reports and this is what it's like working in the white house press corps. this weekend, however, gourd donner harris attempted to turn the mundane into the magnificent. and my god did he succeed. here's a selection from one of his first reports of the day describing the scene. the water is aquamarine, but the sky is decidedly gray. think "miami vice" and that great wordless scene with phil collins in the air tonight, playing in the background as crockett and tubs drive through the night to confront the bad guys. ten points for the "miami vice" reference and it was just getting started. in describing the president's trip to the beach, he veered into a personal story. but beyond the break, the ocean snarls into a sapphire blue, the kind of dark forbidding color that speaks of great depth and sharp teeth. your pooler, this is him talking about himself, swam into those depth depths early this morning
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under a nearly full moon. about a mile out, the hotel key in your pooler's briefs oddly folded by a freak wave created a pinch that felt like a creature's jaws. i think my favorite moment from mr. harris' dispatches comes when he's descliebing the notable absence from the obama family trip to a local shaved ice shop. quote, flotus was not present, as she rarely seems to enjoy public eating frozen gar richly colored sugar water with little of the mouth appeal that cream brings. he really wrote mouth appeal. mr. harris, for handling his pool duties with such flair, and flipping through this weekend's press reports into the highlight of the work day, you, sir, are the best new thing in the world. and god bless you and your reports' incredible mouth appeal. that does it for us. we'll see you again tomorrow. right now it's time for "the last word" with


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